Client Response Time - How long is too long?

Asking for opinions here; when working with clients, how long should I wait for a response on my work before I become concerned? I am working on a fixed price job, have submitted the work and checked in a few times, but haven't heard from the client in over a month. Should I just wait it out?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Cassandra, there are a couple of schools of thought that I know of. I have done both in the past. Now I only use the second method. 

 

1) Submit the proofs to the client for review (via Messages or the agreed upon 3rd party delivery system - aside: I always put a note in Messages even if I've delivered via email or Dropbox so that there is a record in the system), letting her/him know that you are available for revisions. In this case, you have some options - give a deadline for feedback or just hope they're prompt. Hope is trusting and lovely, but often bad for business. 

 

2) Always submit proofs for fixed-price jobs via the system where it says Submit for Payment (or something similar, I can't recall the wording off the top of my head). 

 

I used option #1 once and it went slooooooowly. Client took ages (like, weeks) to review the files and respond. I've used option #2 ever since and even if a client has revisions s/he simply uses the option that says "Request Changes" and then it's back in my court for revision and resubmittal. It tends to move things along faster, and in the case of immediate approval, there is no extra step for the client or you to take in order for you to get paid. 

 

Important note: when you submit via the system and use the "Submit for payment" option, the client has 14 days to review your files. If they don't review in that period and the milestone has been funded by escrow, the funds will be released to your account. You will never be stuck in limbo waiting for an unresponsive client. 

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14 REPLIES 14
katrinabeaver
Member

Believe it or not, I have had clients come back after a couple of three months after I put in my proposal and hire me.  

Don't focus on the time, focus on the value of your proposal. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
tlsanders
Member

That shouldn't be possible. If you submitted work on a fixed price job, the system should have automatically approved your submission if the client didn't take action within 14 days. Something seems to have gone wrong in the process.

Sorry, I should've been more clear. I submitted my work, as in, I submitted some proofs for her to approve. I didn't officially submit my work for pay.


@Cassandra F wrote:

Sorry, I should've been more clear. I submitted my work, as in, I submitted some proofs for her to approve. I didn't officially submit my work for pay.


Hello Cassandra,

 Please submit your work officially. Some times your message to client may missed ( As I experienced !). Some client remain silent, may be they are too busy and the work is less important. Some  clients think they hired a professional, so no need to look at this, they'll just receive good quality output. It seems you are less clear about your work. I think it's not pretty fair to poke client several times in a day.  You better submit your work and leave a message to client that you are ready for any additional modification til client'll satisfy. I think it will work better.

Thanks.

"I may not the best, but I am not the rest."

Cassandra, there are a couple of schools of thought that I know of. I have done both in the past. Now I only use the second method. 

 

1) Submit the proofs to the client for review (via Messages or the agreed upon 3rd party delivery system - aside: I always put a note in Messages even if I've delivered via email or Dropbox so that there is a record in the system), letting her/him know that you are available for revisions. In this case, you have some options - give a deadline for feedback or just hope they're prompt. Hope is trusting and lovely, but often bad for business. 

 

2) Always submit proofs for fixed-price jobs via the system where it says Submit for Payment (or something similar, I can't recall the wording off the top of my head). 

 

I used option #1 once and it went slooooooowly. Client took ages (like, weeks) to review the files and respond. I've used option #2 ever since and even if a client has revisions s/he simply uses the option that says "Request Changes" and then it's back in my court for revision and resubmittal. It tends to move things along faster, and in the case of immediate approval, there is no extra step for the client or you to take in order for you to get paid. 

 

Important note: when you submit via the system and use the "Submit for payment" option, the client has 14 days to review your files. If they don't review in that period and the milestone has been funded by escrow, the funds will be released to your account. You will never be stuck in limbo waiting for an unresponsive client. 

Excellent advice, thanks so much 🙂

thank you. exellent advise!!

sam-sly
Member

oops didn't see OP's clarification

Cassandra:

When a contract is set up properly, it is not necessary for a client to EVER respond to you.

 

You made a tactical mistake in how you set up your contract.

 

When you agree to a fixed-price contract with a client, then you should not agree to the contract until you have all the information necessary and all of the input files necessary to completely finish the work without ever getting any feedback from the client. Then you submit the work using the official Submit Milestone button, and then you get paid.

 

That is all.

 

If you are working on a project that will require some approval of input from the client after an initial submission, then that first part needs to be set up as a separate contract or milestone.

Is this to say that every revision, no matter how small, should be set as a milestone?

 

 


@Cassandra F wrote:

Is this to say that every revision, no matter how small, should be set as a milestone?

 

 


When you submit work/request payment, one of the options available to the client is to request revisions. 


@Preston H wrote:

Cassandra:

When a contract is set up properly, it is not necessary for a client to EVER respond to you.

 

You made a tactical mistake in how you set up your contract.

 

When you agree to a fixed-price contract with a client, then you should not agree to the contract until you have all the information necessary and all of the input files necessary to completely finish the work without ever getting any feedback from the client. Then you submit the work using the official Submit Milestone button, and then you get paid.

 

That is all.

 

If you are working on a project that will require some approval of input from the client after an initial submission, then that first part needs to be set up as a separate contract or milestone.


This doesn't apply as easily to jobs in the creative fields. Client revisions after their initial review are the norm.  

You CAN use this principle in creative fields.

 

Very simply:

 

Client hires you to write an article.

 

You write the article. You submit it using the official submission button.

 

If the client looks it over and asks for some revision, and if you agreed in your original contract agreement that you would provide a revision, then go ahead and do the revision.

 

BUT:

If the client NEVER replies to you... that's fine. It means you GET PAID automatically.

 

That is better than submitting your article and never getting paid because the client left their position in the company and no longer checks their Upwork account. Or because the client decided to take a two-month vacation to the Bahamas and didn't bring a laptop.

 

Creative people can submit their work, wait two weeks, and get paid.

Right, which is exactly what I advised Cassandra to do in my earlier post. 🙂 What we cannot expect, is to never have client revisions after delivery.